Originally posted on September 5, 2021 @ 10:16 AM
The Deficit Focus and Safety Balance
So much of the activity of safety has a focus on the deficit nature of loss. Safety, by its very remit counts the number of times things are unsafe, when things go wrong. Rather than take a focus on the abundances of fallibility, the wealth of goodness in vulnerability, Safety deems fallibility the enemy of Zero, the god of safety (https://safetyrisk.net/the-spirit-of-zero/ ). When your world is framed by zero, the trajectory can only ever be negative.
Watch the video Spirit of Zero (https://visionzero.global/videos ), and you will see that it is by Zero that we are ‘saved’ from unsafety: where the blind see, amputated legs are restored and disease is healed, thus invoking the messianic vision of Matthew 11:5. Don’t forget this video is sponsored by the global safety industry and represents their ideology.
However, the message of zero is not a positive message but rather a deficit delusional message for, the ideology of zero is always about counting loss. Framing a worldview by zero means one’s method can only ever be about counting the number of times you don’t achieve it, in denial of fallibility. Surely a definition of insanity.
The language of ‘drift into failure’ too is deficit discourse (https://safetyrisk.net/do-persons-and-systems-drift-into-failure/ ). How strange to define safety as ‘not the absence of negatives but the presence of positives’ and then create a discourse with a focus on negatives? Similarly, ‘people not a problem to control but a resource to harness’. Do people not see the contradictions in this? The language of harness is the language of control! The slogans offer nothing new but more of the same.
Of course, there is nothing ethically or morally wrong with a focus on negatives or on deficit thinking. After all, the purpose of critical thinking is for the benefit of persons. The deconstruction of what is not working is not ethically wrong as long as the trajectory has a focus on an ethic of risk that desires the ‘upbuilding’ of persons. The critical thinking of this blog and all Dr Long’s books are equally matched by positive alternatives to orthodox safety brutalism. The key is in the balance not in some excessive preoccupation with positive psychology.
A trip down the alley way of Seligman offers no greater hope than the deconstruction of Erich Fromm . The blindness of calling any critique of safety ‘toxic’ offers no hope for learning and improvement. Blind compliance is the enemy of safety not its friend.
The purpose of deconstruction is to pull apart the flaws of something, followed by the building up of alternatives ie. reconstruction.
The Social Psychology of Risk (SPoR) offers a new vision (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/envisioning-risk-seeing-vision-and-meaning-in-risk/ ) for tackling risk that is practical (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/it-works-a-new-approach-to-risk-and-safety/ ) and accepts human fallibility (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/fallibility-risk-living-uncertainty/ ). SPoR deconstructs the Love of Zero (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/for-the-love-of-zero-free-download/ ) and offers an alternative where Risk Makes Sense (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/risk-makes-sense/ ). SPoR offers all the practical help you need to tackle risk in a new way that humanizes others and seeks balance between critique and ‘upbuilding’ (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/the-social-psychology-of-risk-handbook/ ). More so, SPoR offers practical tools and ideas that are doable, realistic and keep the balance between obligations for compliance and humanizing methods. All those who study SPoR wonder why they had not known any of this before (https://safetyrisk.net/free-online-introduction-to-the-social-psychology-of-risk/ ). Many state that the methods of SPoR are a game changer and offer new hope to the way they tackle risk and help others.